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India: First Case Of Coronavirus Variant XE Reported From Mumbai

NEW DELHI- India’s first case of Coronavirus variant XE was reported in Mumbai today, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has said in a media release. One case of the Kappa variant has also been detected. The patients with the new variants of the virus don’t have any severe symptoms so far.

One case of the new Covid variant, XE, was detected in Mumbai today. Out of 376 samples tested, one turned positive for the XE variant.

The patient, a 50-year-old woman, is fully vaccinated against the virus and has shown no symptoms so far, Mumbai’s civic body BMC said. She also suffers from no comorbidities.

Official sources from the union home ministry, however, disagreed, saying the present evidence does not suggest that it is XE variant.

“The patient had foreign travel history and we put the patient’s sample for genome sequencing along with 230 samples. Of the 230, 228 had Omicron BA2 variant and one had Kapa and one was detected with XE,” reported  NDTV.

The new mutant may be more transmissible than any strain of Covid-19, the World Health Organisation had said last week.

“As per the guidelines of the World Health Organisation, the BA 2 and XE is at par so far the spreadability is concerned. As of now there is nothing to worry about,” he added.

The new strain was detected in the UK at the start of the new year. Britain’s health agency said on April 3 that XE was first detected on January 19 and 637 cases of the new variant have been reported in the country so far.

XE is a “recombinant” which is a mutation of BA’1 and BA.2 Omicron strains. Recombinant mutations emerge when a patient is infected by multiple variants of Covid. The variants mix up their genetic material during replication and form a new mutation, UK experts said in a paper published in British Medical Journal.

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